Kelly Ayotte and Republican state Senate candidates the beneficiaries of illegal campaign ads
Concord - Today, on the advice of legal counsel the New Hampshire Democratic Party filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission against the New Hampshire Republican Senate Majority Committee. The Committee, which failed to register with the FEC, has accepted donations from prohibited sources, and didn't include the mandatory disclaimer on their advertisements stating whether they were authorized by a candidate for office.
The PAC has run ads in at least four New Hampshire papers, the Union Leader, the Nashua Telegraph, the Concord Monitor, and Foster's Daily Democrat. The ads show a large picture of Kelly Ayotte and say "Please Vote this Tuesday." In addition, they also picture Republican candidates running for the state senate, Andy Sanborn, Fenton Goren, Peter Angerhoffer, Tom DeBlois, Joe Kelly Levasseur, Gary Lambert, and Jim Luther.
According to their filing with the New Hampshire Secretary of State's Office, the PAC lists Republican Senators Peter Bragdon as Chair, and Bob O'Dell as treasurer. In order to spend money in support of, or opposition to, a candidate for federal office, the committee must have filed with the Federal Elections Commission, which they failed to do.
The Republican Senate Majority Committee faces a fine of at least as much as the cost of the ads without the disclaimer, more than $5,000.00 just for the four ads pictured below. The fine could be significantly larger than that, if other ads were bought and paid for by the Committee, and depending on the FEC's findings concerning the illegal contributions and other potential violations.
"This is yet another instance where the Republican Party has shown total disregard for the law," said Harrell Kirstein, press secretary for the New Hampshire Democratic Party. "That the NHGOP's leadership is so willing to do anything to win an election even if it means ignoring federal laws, is something every voter should find extremely troubling."
"Republican Party Chairman John H. Sununu, Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate Kelly Ayotte, and each of the Republican state Senate candidates should immediately denounce these illegal ads," continued Kirstein. "In these tough times, New Hampshire voters need responsible people they can trust holding elected office. Clearly that isn't anyone on the Republican side of the ballot this year."
Copies of the illegal ads can be found below, and a copy of the complaint can be found here.